The House committee investigating the Capitol riot has received over 700 pages of records from the Trump administration after a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the files to be released. Former President Trump had sought to keep the materials from being unveiled over claimed executive privilege concerns; as the idea went, allowing investigators to access the files could negatively impact the freedom with which future presidential advisers speak because of worries about their comments getting unveiled for supposedly political purposes. The thing is, though, that the investigation of the Capitol attack isn’t a political enterprise — on paper, a breach of the nation’s Capitol by domestic extremists hellbent on upending the democratic process is an extraordinary circumstance about which all Americans should be concerned.
If the former president has no executive privilege to hide evidence of an attempted coup or insurrection, neither do his family or friends. If Ivanka Trump was with Donald Trump as the attack unfolded, she is a material fact witness. I look forward to her testimony.
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) January 20, 2022
The Supreme Court’s order regarding this matter observed that “[because] the court of appeals concluded that President Trump’s claims would have failed even if he were the incumbent, his status as a former president necessarily made no difference to the court’s decision.” The committee itself referred to the Supreme Court’s decision as “a victory for the rule of law & American democracy,” adding:
‘Our work goes forward to uncover all the facts about the violence of January 6th and its causes. We will not be deterred in our effort to get answers, make legislative recommendations to strengthen our democracy, and help ensure nothing like that day ever happens again.’
“The select House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot has received more than 700 pages of Trump White House documents that it had sought for the past several months, @NBCNews reported Friday.”
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) January 21, 2022
President Joe Biden declined to assert executive privilege over Trump-related materials, although the riot investigation committee dropped its requests for certain records due to concerns about the impact that revealing them could have on national security. White House counsel Dana Remus has previously asserted that “Congress is examining an assault on our Constitution and democratic institutions provoked and fanned by those sworn to protect them, and the conduct under investigation extends far beyond typical deliberations concerning the proper discharge of the president’s constitutional responsibilities.”
National Archives has provided US House Select Jan 6 Committee with the remaining Trump White House documents
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) January 21, 2022
The records that were under dispute — and which are now apparently entirely in the possession of investigators — include notes for then-press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, records of the then-president’s activities including calls that he received, and something identified by The New York Times as “a draft executive order on the topic of election integrity,” alongside other materials. That particular document would appear to be something discussed elsewhere: a disturbing draft of a presidential order that would have directed the Secretary of Defense to seize election-related machinery and appointed a special counsel to examine election-related issues. The order outlined a plan in which the Defense Secretary would have moved to “seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention under” legal provisions demanding the preservation of election-related items. Read more here.
Just in: National Archives confirms they released hundreds of pages of Trump White House documents to the Jan. 6 committee yesterday evening after the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s executive privilege claim
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) January 21, 2022